If you’re recently retired and find yourself constantly repairing your house, cleaning your laundry, mowing your lawn, and preparing meals instead of fully enjoying your free time, you might want to look into a 55+ community. These communities include independent living facilities, senior living centers, and retirement villages and offer you the chance to design the type of retirement and life you would like.
Many 55+ communities have amenities like housekeeping, chef-prepared meal plans, and home maintenance that allow you to get out and do things rather than worry about your house. Since Plano is near the Dallas area and many seniors come to Texas for retirement, there are over a dozen options when it comes to 55+ communities. Many of them are outstanding, and Grand Brook won the SeniorAdvisor.com 2016 Best of Senior Living Award.
A 55+ community is usually going to be more expensive than a regular apartment or city area. Keep in mind that some amenities are built into the cost of your rent and prices can vary widely especially the closer you get to the Dallas area. For comparison, a one-bedroom apartment in Plano averages $845 per month and a 55+ community averages about $3,700 per month. There are some as low as $1,700 and high as $5,600 per month.
Medicaid, long-term care insurance, and VA benefits won’t be able to help you cover the cost of basic living expenses in a 55+ community because they only take care of things like health care in your home or in a facility. You will mostly be paying for this type of living expense on your own, but there are a few ways you can fund your new home.
Many seniors can use their Social Security payments to cover rent and others use retirement savings funds they have built up over the years. You could also consider selling or renting out your home to get some extra cash flow. You could also get a roommate if you don’t mind having a companion and want to cut costs in half. Talk with your community to make sure it’s allowed and give it a trial run to see if it’s a good fit.
The best way to find the right community is to make a list of things that are important to you. This includes things like pet-friendly homes, enough space for grandkids to visit, a place that allows overnight guests, or low maintenance living so you can travel. No matter what you want to do with your retirement, you can find a place that suits you.
Once you have a good idea of what you want, start looking around. Ask your friends if they know of good places around you and then visit each place to get a feel for the community.
Your list is going to come in handy as you start to check out the amenities of each community. There will be a few necessary things often covered in your rent along with extra services that will cost more. Each place is different so when you visit, see what they offer.
Cable TV, housekeeping, and laundry services will most likely be built into your rent. Other costs that could be included are transportation services and meal plans. Some places might have a variety of meal plans you can choose from to suit your dietary needs so make sure to check that out. You could also opt not to get a meal plan to save money and cook your own meals.
There are many amenities in 55+ community living, and each place is unique. You could find a place with a golf course or maybe there is one with a community garden. Other features might include:
A swimming pool Nightly entertainment On-site restaurants Various doctors, nurses, and therapists on call Fitness center and classes Cultural experiences like an art class Game room Theme nights like movie night, casino night, etc.
You should consider the surrounding neighborhood when you start looking at 55+ communities. Plano is very close to Dallas, and if you have a car or other form of transportation, it’s very easy to enjoy all the city has to offer. However, if you would prefer to stay closer to Plano or don’t have access to a car, you might want a community that is easily accessible by walking. Also, do you want a quiet neighborhood or a bustling epicenter? Do you need lot’s of green space or is the concrete jungle more your vibe?
While you might not need any help with your health right now, you could in the future. You want to make sure you plan for your health needs as you age and 55+ communities can help with that too.
Many will offer a continuum of care, which means that they will transition you as your health dictates. If you need help with daily tasks or more advanced medical care, they will make sure they meet your needs. This is a good option for people who don’t want to move numerous times. There are also places that are just for independent lifestyles and don’t concern themselves much with continuing health care as you age. If this is more your style, look for places that put an emphasis on freedom and independent living.
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